June 4, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC—The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's online exhibition Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust earned a 2014 Gold Muse Award from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The award recognizes achievement in the use of media and technology for education and outreach.
“We are thrilled to have the Some Were Neighbors website recognized with the highest honor for technology education and outreach in the museum field,” said Museum Historian Edna S. Friedberg. “This award is a validation of the site’s combination of ethically challenging material, evocative design, and innovative pedagogy that bridges the online and gallery experiences.”
The online experience is the digital companion to the Some Were Neighbors special exhibition that opened in April 2013 to Museum visitors and is on view through 2016. The exhibition and the Museum’s broader educational initiative on the topic examine the spectrum of motives and pressures that influenced individual choices to act in support or defiance of Nazi racial policies.
The Muse awards are presented annually by AAM’s Media & Technology Professional Network to institutions or independent producers that use digital media to enhance the experience of galleries, libraries, archives, or museums and to engage their audiences. Winning projects include websites, podcasts, multimedia installations, games, interactive kiosks, apps, and more. An international group of technology professionals related to the field serve as judges.
“The creation of the Some Were Neighbors website was an intensive effort involving staff from across the Museum,” Friedberg said. “Our team strove to make the complex and often uncomfortable topic of collaboration and complicity accessible by organizing the website around everyday roles such as religious leaders, co-workers, and teachers. More specifically, we experimented with new techniques in photo analysis and online visitor engagement.”
Judges’ comments include: “This extremely well-designed experience has many levels of narrative and uses images, video, and text to great effect. It is a great example to emulate. It seems extremely effective in causing visitors to bring their own thoughts into the exhibit.”
Previous wins for the Museum include a 2004 Silver Muse in History and Culture for the website Anne Frank, The Writer: An Unfinished Story as well as a 2001 Honorable Mention Muse in History for Historical Topics on the Holocaust: The Wexner Learning Center (now the Museum’s highly visited online Holocaust Encyclopedia.)
“I think I can speak for the Museum team in saying that Some Were Neighbors took over our lives and turned to be a labor of love,” said Maya Kopytman, a partner at C&G Partners, the design agency that helped create the website. “The careful research done by our clients informed the powerful stories we brought to life through our interface design. Keeping in line with their commitment to authenticity and understatement, we attempted to create an environment that is devoid of unnecessary styling and flourishes, bringing the artifacts and their mesmerizing quality to the forefront.”
About C&G Partners
C&G Partners LLC is an award-winning, multi-specialty design studio. With deep expertise in branding, exhibits, infographics, interactive, motion, print, strategy, wayfinding, and Web, the firm is organized to deliver multiple disciplines for the same client. For more information, visit www.cgpartnersllc.com (external link).
About the Museum
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.